The royal family pose before evening reception
The Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales, the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pose before an evening reception for members of the diplomatic corps Reuters

It's been an eventful and somewhat tumultuous year for the British Royal Family with memorable milestones, new romances and "feuds" taking up a chunk of newspaper headlines since the beginning of 2016.

Along with a newfound interest in the royals in the showbiz world – Netflix's confident £100m gamble on The Crown is one but a few – there have been many talking points, both good and bad, that have enamoured the press and public.

Queen's 90th birthday celebrations

The Queen's 90th birthday celebrations have been undoubtedly the most significant and widely covered event of the year, as Her Majesty went on a walkabout at Windsor to celebrate her actual birthday in April – and there were national celebrations on her official birthday in June.

One of the most memorable pictures of the year included most of the Royal Family waving to the masses of people from Buckingham Palace balcony to join in the birthday celebrations for Britain's longest-serving monarch.

Elizabeth II, 90, also celebrated 70 years of marriage to the 95-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, who has long been a few steps behind her since their wedding day in November 1947. Prince Philip's eternal dedication to his wife and the monarchy has been unwavering, and the pair's shared sense of humour is said to be the secret to their successful marriage.

IBTPOTY2016
11 June 2016: Prince Charles, Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Prince William, Prince Harry, the Queen and Prince Philip stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Colour, marking the Queen's 90th birthday Ben A Pruchnie/Getty Images

This year also marked the 60th anniversary of the launch of the Duke Of Edinburgh's Award scheme, in which Philip remains active in contributing to, and has helped some five million young people in the UK, and eight million people worldwide.

Speaking to IBTimes UK, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams remarked on the royal buzz of 2016, but claims that nothing came as a shock over the past 12 months. He said: "There is perpetual fascination both at home and abroad with royal stories.

"In fact after the Queen's 90th there were few until recently, and it was "business as usual" for some time, which is what the royals prefer. There are some 3,000 royal patronages and various royal duties are routine," he added.

Royal feud

One story that garnered much controversy was the alleged Royal feud between the Queen's two sons, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew. It all began when it was reported that the Duke of York vied for his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to work as tax-payer funded royals, much like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Prince Andrew and Prince Charles
Prince Andrew and Prince Charles Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Though Andrew wrote his request in a letter to the Queen, Charles is said to have intervened and deny his brother's wishes, as he intends to "streamline" the monarchy when he eventually becomes king.

Fitzwilliams commented: "A less well timed intervention was that of the Duke of York who issued an unprecedented and angry statement on Twitter concerning the private lives and future of his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, seemingly oblivious to the fact that, to the public at large, they are an irrelevance."

In December, it was also reported that Andrew was seeking earldoms for his daughters' future husbands so that their unborn children would not be classed as "commoners".

Andrew has since denied reports of a rift with Prince Charles over the future roles of Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, stating that there is "no truth" to the claims.

Another royal revelation that raised eyebrows among the public was the recent announcement that £369 million would be spent over the next decade on the refurbishment of Buckingham Palace from the beginning of 2017.

Royal tours

But among the controversy, the younger royals made headlines for their international tours. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge conducted her first solo tour abroad to the Netherlands in October, just after she visited Canada with husband William and their two children Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Not to be forgotten, the duke and duchess also visited India and Bhutan in a highly-active and vibrant tour back in April, without the company of their young children.

Royal Tour of Canada
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the children's party for military families, with Prince George and Princess Charlotte Chris Jackson/ Getty Images

Prince Harry also represented the Queen in his second Caribbean visit, in which he met pop sensation Rihanna and even took an HIV test with her to raise Aids awareness.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

And the elephant in the room is of course Prince Harry's new relationship with Suits actress Meghan Markle, which was arguably the most unexpected royal news story of the year.

The 32-year-old prince was forced to prematurely confirm the romance in early November when he issued an emotional plea to the international press via Kensington Palace to cease their harassment of her and her family.

Rihanna and Prince Harry
Prince Harry (R) watches as Singer Rihanna (L) gets her blood sample taken for an live HIV test, in order to promote more widespread testing for the public at the 'Man Aware' event held by the Barbados National HIV/AIDS Commission on the eleventh day of an official visit on December 1, 2016 in Bridgetown, Barbados. Getty

Offering his opinion on Harry's statement, Fitzwilliams said: "I thought it was timely. I would not be surprised if this undoubtedly serious romance leads to an engagement in the coming year."

Fitzwilliams went on to discuss the press' relationship with the Royal Family, continuing: "It is important to note that our royal family is the world's most high profile, it is a royal goldfish bowl and the relationship between the monarchy and the press is symbiotic.

"The royals need to remain high profile, and the press needs royal stories. To what extent this relationship can be controlled is obviously a vexed question.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle romance came into the limelight in November with an official statement from the Kensington Palace Getty

"Various photocalls are arranged for the press, these and the release of occasional photos is the way the nation keeps in touch with George and Charlotte growing up as children obviously need privacy, other royal children are far less high profile," he added.

Netflix's The Crown

The current craze over the Royals has sparked many TV series, from Six Wives with Lucy Worsley to upcoming royal drama King Charles III starring Charlotte Riley as Kate Middleton.

But the one series that has been the talk of the town has no doubt been The Crown. But Fitzwilliams reckons that there has "always" been an interest in transcending royal stories to the screen.

He said: "The interest in the royal family on screen has always been considerable. There is a particular national obsession with the Tudors and portraying the main events from the Queen's accession to the Suez crisis in The Crown, which has been a well-deserved triumph.

"It has also shone light into a decade previously considered austere and deferential, there was, as the series has shown, plenty of drama too."

the crown
Claire Foy stars as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown Netflix